ROSEAU, Dominica, (CMC) – National Security and Home Affairs Minister of Dominica, Rayburn Blackmoore, said the nation’s Firearm and Bail Acts will be reviewed to impose stiffer penalties on people convicted on charges of trafficking in illegal firearms.
This comes on the heels of the Dominican government stating that it is moving towards tightening legislation regarding the use of illegal weapons, which will include a mandatory lengthy jail sentence for convicted individuals.
“We have strong gun laws in our country. However, laws are very organic and are meant to be changed with time,” he said.
“In that regard, in very quick order, further changes will be made to our Firearms Act,” he added.
He said if anyone is found with imports or evidence suggests that one is trafficking illegal firearms, the accused will go to jail for a long time upon conviction.
He added that the government condemns the trafficking in illegal firearms, noting “we do not manufacture firearms, so these illegal guns come from the other side.”
“It means, therefore, that there will be a mandatory custodian jail sentence for anyone found with imports or traffic illegal firearms. That person will be out of circulation for a long time,” he said.
“Dominica is not a gun town, and, therefore, we as a people have to ensure that this beautiful country does not descend to that level.”
“Let me remind you that your government takes this matter very seriously and will not relent in its effort to build an effective infrastructure to intercept, recover illegal firearms and to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he added.
Recently, the Dominican police force intercepted 20 illegal firearms and 409 rounds of ammunition at a port on the outskirts of Roseau, the nation’s capital.
As such, he noted that recently a Bail Act was enacted into law, which will ensure that bail applications can only be made before the High Court for illegal firearm matters.
Meanwhile, Blackmoore said he wanted to praise the various law enforcement agencies, including the customs and police, noting that as the island moves towards the upcoming festive season including the independence celebrations, people will be more inclined to take their chances with the law.
“Therefore, there will be a greater need for greater vigilance and diligence by our police officers, customs officers and Dominicans on a whole,” he said.